Is He the Greatest?

With his retirement, record-breaking 8-time overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria is arguably alpine ski racing’s GOAT. Or is he? 
By Patrick Lang

Early in September of this year, Marcel Hirscher at age 30 announced that he was ending his remarkable career. The Austrian won the overall World Cup title, symbolic of the world’s top alpine racer, a record eight times—three more than the previous record holder Marc Girardelli, and four more than Lindsey Vonn.
Hirscher’s “goodbye” press conference was aired live in evening prime time on Austria’s national TV channel ORF1, and was video-streamed on platforms around the world.
In dozens of tweets published soon after his announcement, leaders from several countries expressed their admiration of Hirscher. His top competitor, 28-year-old Frenchman Alexis Pinturault, even said that he regretted the Austrian champion’s decision. Runner-up to Hirscher in the 2019 overall World Cup standings, Pinturault considers him as the “GOAT”—the Greatest Of All Time—of alpine ski racing for his impressive triumphs, his amazing dedication and his constant search for perfection.
Surveying the list of victories, gold medals and crystal globes amassed by Hirscher since his first major win at the FIS junior World Championships more than ten years ago, it’s difficult to challenge Pinturault’s opinion...

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